June Flexibility Challenge – Week 2: Flexible Shoulders

It’s Week 2 of the June Flexibility Challenge! Are you feeling more flexible yet?

This week we’re focusing on overhead and shoulder mobility. Flexible shoulders can help you in SO many exercises, like handstands, pull ups, burpees, and more!

Building up your shoulder flexibility is also a great way to counteract the slouched position that so many of us spend time in these days.

If you spend a good portion of your day sitting at a desk working on a computer, these stretches will help you straighten out and make your shoulders feel AMAZING!

Keep sharing pictures of progress with the tags @12minuteathlete and #12MAflexibility for the chance to win my favorite foam roller and a signed copy of the 12 Minute Athlete book!

Check out my Instagram or Facebook page to find videos, and download the full workout calendar here.

Aim to do the exercises for Week 2 at least three times this week, in addition to your regular workouts.

You can also continue to do last week’s stretches to keep building up that hamstring and hip flexor flexibility.

Just joining us? Find the challenge info and workout calendar here, or click here to head over to the Week 1 exercises

Flexibility Challenge Week 2 Exercises

Aim to complete the following sequence three to fives a week. Hold each stretch for 45-60 seconds, and complete two to three rounds.

  • Rolling out upper back/lats
  • Shoulder opener
  • Wall chest stretch
  • Overhead arm stretch
  • Shoulder mobility wall slides

Here’s how to do the exercises:

Rolling Out Upper Back/Lats

  • Lie down on your back with a foam roller under your upper back.
  • Gently roll up and down the foam roller, pausing on any sore spots to breathe.
  • Roll out your neck, back, and turn to the side to roll out your lats.

For a more comprehensive post on foam rolling and why and how to do it, go here.

Shoulder Opener on Elevated Surface

  • Kneel in front of a chair with your elbows resting on the chair.
  • Push your elbows into the chair as you pull your ribs up and in.
  • Breathe into the stretch, gently pushing your elbows more into the chair as you deepen into the stretch.
  • For an added stretch, you can hold a light weight in your hands or place a sandbag on your upper back.
  • Hold for 45-60 seconds, then slowly roll upright.

Wall Chest Stretch

  • Stand with your arms stretched out against a wall.
  • Place your hands on the wall at about shoulder height, pull your ribs in, then lower your chest towards the ground. You should feel the stretch in your chest and shoulders.
  • The more you lean, the greater the stretch.
  • Hold for 45-60 seconds, then switch sides.

Overhead Arm Stretch

  • Reach both arms up overhead.
  • Bend your right elbow and bring your right palm to touch your upper back.
  • Bend your left elbow and clasp your right elbow. Gently pull the right elbow closer to your right ear, allowing the right palm to slide further down the back.
  • Hold for 45-60 seconds, then switch sides.

Advanced version: 

  • From the position above, keep your right elbow and arm in place. Reach straight out to the left with your left arm and point your left thumb down, with your palm facing away from you.
  • Bend into your left elbow and bring the back of your left hand to rest on your back.
  • Interlace the fingers of your left and right hands. Pull your shoulders down away from your ears and gently press the elbows back.
  • Hold for 45-60 seconds, then switch sides.

Shoulder Mobility Wall Slides

  • Stand with your back to the wall and position your elbows in a “T” shape.
  • Pull your ribs in and press your core towards the wall.
  • Slowly slide your elbows up only to the point where your elbows are still touching the wall.
  • Repeat this movement for 45-60 seconds.

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